Archive for November, 2018

Red Red Roeg

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on November 30, 2018 by dcairns

Red Red Roeg from Colin McKeown on Vimeo.

Enjoy Colin McKeown’s video essay/supercut/mashup on the them of red in the film of Nicolas Roeg — and in some of the films he shot as cinematographer. These are fair game as, after all, Roeg was responsible for getting the directors’ and designers’ colour schemes onto celluloid, and as they may also have inspired his own thinking about colour later. Same for PERFORMANCE, co-directed with Donald Cammell, with Roeg taking charge of the camera side while DC worked with the actors.

Some great links and action cuts and audio/video conjunctions here! And what a rich filmography to play about in.

Red forms a link, if you like, between Nic Roeg and Michael Powell, and also positions both filmmakers on the opposite side of the artistic as well as colour spectrum from Ken Loach, who won’t have it in his films — due to some personal traumatic associations, I believe, so I’m not knocking him for it. But Roeg was the kind of guy, I think, that if red had some traumatic, MARNIE-style associations for him, he’d have used MORE of it.

I keep having to rewrite my sentences to put him in the past tense.

Just watch, in a week or two he’ll be back in the eternal present tense, like Powell.

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Atheists in Foxholes

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on November 29, 2018 by dcairns

New Yorkers have a rare and not-to-be-missed chance to catch Joseph Losey’s devastating KING AND COUNTRY on the big screen, and it’s the subject of today’s delayed-since-armistice edition of The Forgotten.

Here.

2001: An Odyssey in Bits #1

Posted in FILM, MUSIC with tags , , , , , , on November 28, 2018 by dcairns

(So, OK, there’s an overture — a bit of Ligeti used as build-up — played over a black screen for a minute or so before this shot.)

Hello! I thought I’d blog my way through 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and see if I can surprise myself with any fresh discoveries.

Kubrick was prone to speaking of his films being based around “non-submersible units” — “give me six non-submersible units and I’ll make you a film!” Suggesting he may have been confusing films with pontoon bridges, possibly. But 2001 really is based around big cinematic set-pieces, and Kubrick’s rejection of the theatrical act structure adopted by Hollywood and most other movies is significant. It ties him into the sixties art cinema of Fellini, Antonioni, etc. I’m not quite clear who first developed the more abstract, musical or free-form patterns we see in art movies of the time…

Anyway, after the Ligeti we get Richard Strauss, Also Sprach Zarathustra, and a sunrise in space. In fact, a simultaneous planetrise and sunrise.Sunrises are important in this film. See how many of them YOU can spot.

The FX still hold up, partly because they’re beautiful as well as convincing. This one arguably is a little flat — a shame they couldn’t have made moon more dimensional. There is a slight feeling of the rostrum camera about the movements. It’s the authentic BRIGHTNESS of the sun that makes it feel more real than cut-out animation — the bit of lens flare that will appear just before the main title really sells it.The big crescendos and cymbal-clashes on Kubrick’s name and the title are almost too much — I don’t think anybody laughs at 2001 except for the zero-G toilet instructions and some of the late Douglas Rains’s lines, so they get away with it, but really… you must have a healthy ego to put your name up there at this exact moment in the music. It’s good showbiz though, clearly.Reading the contemporary critics is a little dispiriting. They seem so determined not to be amazed. Like they all drank their sense of wonder to death long before. Those words “sense of wonder” may have been overused to death also, but they really apply here. The film does allow room to wonder — your questions have a good chance of being worth asking. I think I may have first heard the expression around the time of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, and in that film, there aren’t really any questions that’ll make you think. There’s mystery — what are the aliens up to? — but no useful answers present themselves. Stealing and returning aeroplanes and small children, swooping about, implanting images in brains… they’ve come a long way just to fuck with us, it seems.

Kubrick’s aliens are less whimsical. It seems they have a definite end in mind. They are playing a long game. But does it work?

Tune in next time…